Vermont Maple Martini

This cocktail combines three of my favorite things: small batch bourbon, organic Vermont maple syrup, and lemons.  Sip it in a chilled martini glass or on the rocks in a double old-fashioned glass. My recipe makes two cocktails because let’s face it, no one enjoys drinking alone. With two drinks you hand one to a friend and it’s an instant party.

The Rowan’s Creek Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is a new one for me from the Willet Bourbon Whiskey family. It’s a very nice sip with a caramel, honeyed spiciness to it. It’s made and bottled by hand in Bardstown, Kentucky. Wine Enthusiast had this to say: “Amber, with a dark golden cast. Medium-bodied. Reminiscent of pear, lemon, honey, and flowers. Smooth texture. Quite elegant and attractive on the palate. Stunning, velvety mouth feel of delicate fruit and spice elements. Carries forth in a highly fragrant, lingering finish. The Square Deal Farm organic maple syrup comes from northern Vermont.  Square Deal has been farming sustainably since 1997 and are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. They raise Pinzgauer cattle and pastured pigs, grow potatoes, harvest their own hay, and manage their forestland for timber, wildlife and maple syrup production. I buy their delicious syrup and maple sugar from Farmers To You and pick it up with the rest of my weekly order.

IMG_1005 (1)Vermont Maple Martini

Makes 2 cocktails


  • 4 oz. Rowan’s Creek Bourbon Whiskey  (Angel’s Envy rye, Willett bourbon whiskey, or Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey would work well, too)
  • 1 ½ oz. maple syrup
  • 2 lemons, juiced (about 2 oz.)
  • Optional garnish: lemon twist

Directions: If you’re using martini glasses, chill the martini glasses with ice and water while you prepare the cocktail OR do what I used to do and keep the glasses in the freezer ready to go.

Fill half of a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon whiskey, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Give it one shake and let it sit for 2 minutes to settle and soften the flavors … then go ahead and give it a SHAKE, Shake, shake as hard as you can.  You want that nice icy film on top after pouring.

Strain into the chilled martini glasses or a double old-fashioned filled with ice.


Whiskey Slush


Everyone should have a party cocktail recipe. Admit it. Your friend invites you over to her house and you secretly wish she’d make (insert favorite cocktail). It might be a special martini or a fruity Red Sangria or something as simple a great bottle of wine, but when you’re invited over you are hoping IT’s there. Many of my friends (always my husband) request this one. Many years ago, I was given the original recipe from a Montessori colleague that grew up in Tennessee. She raved about it being the perfect summer party cocktail. I’ve been making it ever since. This recipe makes a gallon, so invite friends over and share.

You could cut the recipe in half, but really, why would you?

Whiskey Slush

Makes 1 gallon


  • 7C filtered water
  • 3-4C Whiskey (Jack Daniels®), depending on how strong you’d like it
  • 1 can (12oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
  • ½ can (6oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1C superfine Caster sugar
  • 2C strong, Irish Breakfast black tea (use 3 tea bags)
  • orange and lemon slices for garnish

Directions: Brew the black tea (steep for 5 minutes) and set aside.

In a large, freezer-safe pitcher, combine all the ingredients.  Stir to dissolve the sugar, and place in freezer overnight. When you’re ready to serve, take out of the freezer and put the desired amount in a blender on pulse OR let the pitcher sit on your counter for an hour or so until it gets to the desired slushy consistency.

Serve in old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with orange and lemon slice.


Tequila Mojito

You know how mint takes over the garden and becomes a weedy annoyance really quickly? Well, I got so tired of the mint spreading everywhere that I pulled it all up. My father seemed to think that I still really needed the mint (you never know when you may need it) so he brought some over in two large pots – big, but manageable when contained.

In honor of mint lovers everywhere I made a tequila mojito. Funny, even though I picked a good sized bunch from the plant it still looks full and bushy. Guess that means more mojitos and moroccan mint tea.

Makes 2 cocktails


4 oz. Silver Tequila (Patrón or Milagro is good)

1 lime, sliced

2 oz. simple syrup

club soda

small bunch of fresh mint leaves

superfine sugar for the rim

mint leaves for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves, lime, and simple syrup. Add a cup of crushed ice and the tequila. SHAKE, shake, shake the cocktail shaker and let it sit while you rim the glasses with sugar by rubbing a lime around the edge and dipping the glass in the fine sugar.

Strain the cocktail evenly between the two glasses and top with club soda. Use a cocktail spoon to gently stir. Add mint leaves for a garnish.


Got Ginger?

Sweet and spicy, a ginger cocktail is perfect to warm the bones. Ginger is so good for you, too. It aids digestion, helps with nausea and seasickness, and tastes great in stir-frys, soups, and marinades. We love ginger so much in our house that we named one of our Labs Ginger.

Our Oceanspray Ginger, twelve years old. Two knee replacements and a stomach operation and she’s still going strong.

This cocktail is so delicious – I wish I could take credit for it. I found it on the Domaine De Canton website and adapted it to quantities that fit our martini glasses. Their website is loaded with cocktail and food recipes. If you love ginger, this is the site for you.

Don’t forget to keep your martini glasses in the freezer so they are ready and frosty whenever you want.


The Gold Rush
Makes 2 martinis

  • 4½oz. of Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur
  • 3 oz. Bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
  • 1½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with crushed ice. Pour in the Domaine De Canton and the Bourbon. Stir and let sit for 1- 2 minutes to mellow. Add the lemon juice. Now shake, shake, shake the cocktail shaker as hard as you can.

Strain into chilled martini glasses garnished with a cherry.

Chill the glasses in the freezer

The perfect pour …